- Spanish region of Catalonia imposes new lockdown after surge in COVID-19 cases.
- U.S. holiday weekend adds to virus worries as case counts grow.
- P.E.I. confirms three new cases of COVID-19 after being in the clear since late April.
- Most people obey rules as England’s pubs reopen, health secretary says.
- South Africa’s COVID-19 count rises to 187,977, the continent’s highest.
- Recent outbreak in Beijing appears to have largely run its course.
Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia is under a new lockdown, with officials informing about 210,000 people in El Segria county to shelter in place, after more than 350 new cases of the novel coronavirus were detected.
Movement in and out of the region has been restricted to most traffic, and gatherings of more than 10 people have been prohibited. Police checkpoints will be used to enforce the lockdown order, according to media reports.
Residents were told they can leave their homes, but not the area, starting from noon Saturday. Those who need to leave for work will have to present a certificate from their employer, starting Tuesday.
Catalonia is one of the Spanish regions worst affected by the coronavirus, with nearly 73,000 cases and more than 12,000 deaths. Spain has seen a quarter of a million cases and more than 28,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
The World Health Organization on Saturday reported more than 212,000 new cases of coronavirus globally, a record for a single day — while two states that have emerged as the latest hot hot spots of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, Texas and Florida, reported a combined daily count of nearly 20,000 additional infections.
The Geneva-based WHO said the highest number of new infections was reported from the Americas region, which includes the U.S. and Brazil.
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The United States has dipped under 50,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time in four days on Saturday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, but experts fear celebrations for the Fourth of July weekend will act like fuel for the nation’s surging outbreak.
Johns Hopkins counted 45,300 new coronavirus infections in the U.S. on Saturday after three days in which the daily count reached as high as 54,500 new cases. The lower figure on Saturday does not necessarily mean the situation in the U.S. is improving, as it could be due to reduced reporting on a national holiday.
The U.S. has the most infections and virus-related deaths in the world, with 2.8 million cases and nearly 130,000 deaths, according to the university. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic is significantly higher, due to people who died before they were tested and missed mild cases.
To show just how steep the current infection curve is in the U.S., the country was reporting under 20,000 new infections a day as recently as June 15.
At the same time, life is returning to normal in many places elsewhere in the world. In England this weekend, people were allowed to go to a pub, restaurant or hair salon for the first time in more than three months. U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday that the vast majority of people did “the right thing” and appeared to abide by the rules.
Early indications suggest the reopening of pubs in England on Saturday did not overwhelm emergency services as many had feared in the run-up to the biggest easing of the lockdown.
However, John Apter, chair of the Police Federation of England & Wales, was on shift on Saturday night and said it was “crystal clear” that drunk people struggled, or ignored, physical distancing rules.
The U.K. has experienced one of the world’s worst outbreaks so far. Its official coronavirus death toll of 44,198 is the third-highest behind the U.S. and Brazil.
What’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada
Prince Edward Island reported new coronavirus cases for the first time in more than two months, announcing three new cases on Saturday — including one person who worked at Whisperwood Villa, a Charlottetown seniors’ home.
Dr. Heather Morrison, the province’s chief public health officer, told a news conference that all three cases were Islanders who’d travelled within Canada.
Premier Dennis King said officials in the province will study health data further before making any decisions that could alter the Atlantic bubble that came into effect on Friday allowing travellers from within the four provinces to cross borders without having to self-isolate for 14 days.
As of 6 a.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 105,317 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 68,990 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,720.
Here’s what’s happening around the world
More than 11 million people around the world are known to have been infected since the pandemic began, according to the Johns Hopkins University data. With shortages of testing materials, the real number of cases is unknown. More than 525,000 people have died.
For the first time, South Africa is reporting more than 10,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day. That brings the country’s total confirmed cases to 187,977, by far the most of any country in Africa. South Africa also has surpassed 3,000 deaths.
Cases continue to rise in Gauteng province, home of Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, which now has close to one-third of the country’s infections. Officials have said beds in public hospitals are filling up, and nurses have expressed alarm.
Overall, Africa has nearly 450,000 confirmed cases.
In China, officials have reported eight new confirmed coronavirus cases as a recent outbreak in Beijing appears to have largely run its course.
China’s capital had two new cases, the seventh straight day of single-digit increases. Authorities have confirmed 334 infections during the city’s outbreak, which was detected about three weeks ago and is the largest in the country since March. No deaths have been reported.
Beijing government spokesperson Xu Hejian said at a news conference Saturday that the situation “keeps improving and is completely controllable.”
The six cases outside Beijing were people arriving from abroad. Three were in Gansu province in the country’s northwest.
China has reported 83,553 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths since the pandemic began. Its case count does not include people who test positive for the coronavirus but show no symptoms.
South Korea has recorded 60-plus new coronavirus cases for a third consecutive day, a continuation of a virus spread beyond the greater Seoul area.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday it has confirmed 61 additional cases, bringing the national total to 13,091. It says the death toll remained at 283.
The agency says 43 of the newly reported cases were locally infected patients. All but two of those cases were either from the Seoul metropolitan area or two central cities, Gwangju and Daejeon. The remaining 18 cases were linked to international arrivals.
South Korea has been grappling with an uptick in new infections since it eased social distancing rules in early May. South Korea recorded 63 new cases on both Saturday and Friday.
Over 444,000 confirmed <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> cases on the African continent – with more than 214,000 recoveries & 10,800 deaths. View country figures & more with the WHO African Region COVID-19 Dashboard: <a href=”https://t.co/V0fkK8dYTg”>https://t.co/V0fkK8dYTg</a> <a href=”https://t.co/EYuVqubnC8″>pic.twitter.com/EYuVqubnC8</a>